Do you ever notice yourself wishing that “If they would only just add that extra lane, then my commute would be so much easier!” or “If only guys would just wake up and realize that women do not like getting cat called on the street” or maybe, “If I could just stop worrying about how I look I could enjoy myself so much more”? Chances are that if you’ve caught yourself wishing once, you’ve probably done it a thousand times. Maybe you’re a problem solver, or you’re one of those people who always has a project going on, whether it’s self improvement, home improvement or society improvement. If this sounds like you, then you sound like me and we both have a problem: It’s problem solving.

The other day it occurred to me that I’ve been in therapy, or “life coaching” as my therapist likes to say, for just over a year now. I’ve come a long way and yet after every problem I solve, whether it’s me or the world, I turn the corner to discover yet another problem. And they’re always the kind of problems that “if only I could…” then everything in my life would be ok. It occurred to me that the problems will never go away and the more energy I spend on trying to solve them, the less energy I spend enjoying all the success I’ve built into my life this far. I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe, if I stop thinking of them as problems then they might just go away on their own.

I’ve never lived a life with no problems, so I don’t know if I’d recognize one if it hit me in the face. Who knows? I may not have any problems already, but if I never stop trying to solve problems, then I’ll never know.

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